Blazers Knock Off Cavaliers for 11th Straight Win
Portland ties its fourth-longest winning streak in team history
PORTLAND – The Trail Blazers defeated yet another one of the NBA’s top teams in winning their 11th straight game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, 113-105, behind a loud sellout crowd of 19,806 on Thursday night. Portland’s 11-game winning streak is tied for the fourth-longest streak in franchise history and the longest since November 8-25, 2013 (also 11 games).
"Each game is a challenge," said Head Coach Terry Stotts. "To string together the wins we have been, we've been doing good things at both ends of the floor. And tonight was an example of that as well."
In addition to knocking off the Cavs, the Trail Blazers have twice defeated Golden State, and beaten division rivals Minnesota, Oklahoma City and Utah during the streak. Seven of the 11 wins have come against teams with records above .500.
"We're doing a good job protecting home court, taking advantage of a little stretch at home," said CJ McCollum after the game. "I think overall we're playing a lot better basketball, sharing the ball, defensively staying locked in for the most part, and getting stops when we need stops."
McCollum led Portland with 29 points (12-24 FG), while Damian Lillard added 24 points (9-9 FT) and a game-best nine assists. With those nine assists, Damian Lillard joined LeBron James and Oscar Robertson as the only three players in NBA history to record at least 1,500 points and 400 assists in each of their first six seasons.
The Trail Blazers now have a two-game advantage over Oklahoma City for both the Northwest Division crown and the third seed in the Western Conference. Portland has also won eight straight home games and 17 of its past 18 at Moda Center.
"Our crowd has been there the entire time," said Lillard. "Even the games that we struggled at home, the crowd has brought the energy. But I think when you have success they go to another level. We're playing quality basketball. We're protecting our home floor. We're using the energy of the crowd and the fact that we're the home team to our advantage."
The Trail Blazers have guaranteed a winning record for the season, improving to 42-26. The 2017-18 season marks the 34th time in 48 seasons that Portland will have finished at or above .500.
After neither team led by double digits in the first half, Portland blitzed Cleveland in the third in leading by as many as 15 points, 81-66, before heading to the fourth quarter with an 88-77 lead. Cleveland reduced Portland’s lead to 105-102 with fewer than three minutes before the Trail Blazers pushed toward the final margin.
"They cut it to three, and they did that with momentum and with LeBron James on the floor," Lillard added. "That's a dangerous situation for us. But we got some bounces, hit a few shots, made free throws down the stretch, and when we needed to get one or two stops down the stretch we got them."
The Trail Blazers outrebounded the Cavaliers, 50-34, and 13-2 on the offensive glass, resulting in 16 more field goal attempts and a 20-4 advantage in second chance scoring.
• Lillard recorded his 13th straight game with at least 20 points, including (eight) games with 30 points or more.
• Maurice Harkless shot 6-for-10 from the floor for 17 points, his fourth-most points this season.
• LeBron James scored 22 of his game-high 35 points (15-25 FG) in the first half on 9-for-13 shooting. He added a game-best 14 rebounds and six assists.
• Portland has won each of its first 10 games after the All-Star break for the first time in team history (7, 1999-2000).
• The Trail Blazers have defeated the Cavaliers in five straight meetings at Moda Center.
• All five Trail Blazers starters made exactly two field goals in the first quarter.
• Portland recorded just seven turnovers, none of which came in the fourth quarter.
"Moe (Harkless) and Chief (Aminu) both had a very good game at both ends of the court. Moe's energy, alertness on defense, deflections; they both made threes." - Coach Stotts
The Trail Blazers close out a five-game homestand Saturday night against the Detroit Pistons. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. from Moda Center, broadcast on NBC Sports Northwest and NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio 620 AM.